Thursday , 21 October 2021

Reeve Sawchuk says timing of Elizabeth Metis challenge to Imperial Cold Lake Expansion is “disconcerting”

The M.D. of Bonnyville is lending support to Imperial Oil on their Cold Lake Expansion project and applied to speak at the Alberta Energy Regulator’s (AER) hearing in response to a regulatory appeal from Elizabeth Métis Settlement.

At the M.D. council Wednesday, they joined the City of Cold Lake in applying for AER hearing on the project, which had been through two years of regulatory procedures.

“For this appeal to be put in at this hour when everything has already been approved, it’s very disconcerting,” said Reeve Greg Sawchuk during The Morning After.

“I just have to question…we had met with the ACO’s office on this very topic of consultation and how it was taking so long and they assured it was going to be settled in a quick fashion. It still took months after that. It was at their office for a long time – plenty of time for consultation.”

“We’re going to try and be part of the appeal process and we think we have a legitimate claim seeing as Imperial production facility is within the M.D. and that they are our primary source of revenue, and they’re our number one taxpayer and we work very closely with them.

“They are engaged with the community already. They are conscious of what their neighbours feel about their operations and they are a good partner to have in our area,” said Sawchuk.

Elizabeth Métis Settlement requested a regulatory appeal on Sept. 12, 2018, and it was accepted in December.

In August 2018, the AER had cleared the Expansion Project’s regulatory hurdles after a two-year wait, which put the ball back into Imperial Oil’s court to decide if they still wanted to pursue the expansion.

The purpose of the hearing will be to determine whether AER should uphold, change, or even confirm, vary, suspend or revoke its decision to issue the appeals.

It is not believed there is a date set for the AER hearing yet.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.